“Prose both scabrous and poetic.” – Publishers Weekly. “Proust meets Chandler over a pint of Guinness.” – Spectator. “A sheer pleasure.” – Tana French. “Among the most memorable books of the year, of any genre.” – Sunday Times. “A hardboiled delight.” – Guardian. “Imagine Donald Westlake and Richard Stark collaborating on a screwball noir.” – Kirkus Reviews. “A cross between Raymond Chandler and Flann O’Brien.” – John Banville. “The effortless cool of Elmore Leonard at his peak.” – Ray Banks. “A fine writer at the top of his game.” – Lee Child.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Hello GOOD-BYE

As all three regular readers will know, I run a regular Q&A for crime writers here on CAP, and the first question is: ‘What crime novel would you most like to have written?’ The answers are as varied as you might expect, but the name that appears time and again is Raymond Chandler.
  We all have our own favourites, of course, and Chandler is mine, and while THE LONG GOOD-BYE isn’t the best of his novels, it’s the one I like most, perhaps for its quasi-autobiographical hinterland. Anyhoos, the good news – for me – was that a box of books arrived from Hamish Hamilton this week, containing re-issues of THE BIG SLEEP, FAREWELL, MY LOVELY, THE LITTLE SISTER, THE LADY IN THE LAKE and THE LONG GOOD-BYE. No ordinary re-issues, either – hardbacks, sans dust-jackets, of the original first edition Chandlers (although I’m reliably informed by the ever-helpful Jayde Lynch at Penguin that the FAREWELL, MY LOVELY isn’t actually a first edition cover). It’s a beautiful collection, sumptuously presented, and it fair made my week – and they didn’t even know it’ll be my birthday on Monday. Nice.
  Anyway, the quintet is released on March 26th, and you should be able to find all the details here at Hamish Hamilton. If there’s a Chandler fan in your vicinity, you know what to do … Better still, if you know of any unfortunate who has yet to read him, now is the time to do the right thing.
  Over to you folks – your favourite Chandler novel, and why …

9 comments:

Claire said...

The Big Sleep - it was the first Chandler I read and I fell in love with the whole Californian setting.

Bob said...

..and I should mention my fave is The Big Sleep, mainly because it was the first one I read and it sucked me completely into its plot and characters. The others are probably better but, hey, I'm a nostalgic kinda' guy. You always remember your first time, right? Right?
And did I mention I'm not even a teeny bit jealous.

Corey Wilde said...

The Big Sleep. People tell me the plot makes no sense but I guess I choose good whisky because it makes perfect sense to me.

Happy B-Day forthcoming, Mr. B.

Dana King said...

My favorite Chandler is usually whichever novel I've read most recently. THE BIG SLEEP was my first, so it's always special, especially for the "Big Sleep" soliloquy at the end. FAREWELL, MY LOVELY may be the best written. THE LONG GOOD-BYE the most heartfelt. Still, every time I go back and re-read THE LITTLE SISTER, THE LADY IN THE LAKE, or THE HIGH WINDOW I'm reminded how good they are, even though they're condemned to live in the shadows of the three masterpieces.

PLAYBACK? Meh.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Not a favorite but I wanted to mention how much I enjoyed THE LONG EMBRACE: RAYMOND CHANDLER AND THE WOMAN HE LOVED-which is as fascinating as his novels. Highly recommend it.

Gordon Harries said...

Were I to be entirely truthful, I think I’d confess that I have a small degree of trouble reading Chandler (so much of his stylistic ticks have become over familiar and I think some aspects of his worldview subscribe to contemporary standards better than others.)

That said, Hamish were kind enough to send me these re-issues too (I’m writing a feature) and I’m currently really enjoying ‘The Lady In The Lake’, which was a key influence on Megan Abbott’s marvelous ‘The Song Is You.’

lawlis42 said...

Isn't that funny - mine is The Big Sleep, too. It's also my favorite movie from his books.

Peter Rozovsky said...

March 26: Lily's first birthday and a stack of Chandler rereleases. Lots of huzzahs and hosannahs flying about the place that day, I expect.
==============
Detectives Beyond Borders
"Because Murder Is More Fun Away From Home"
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Sinéad said...

First of all, HAPPY BIRTHDAY! Hope it's a good one. :)

Definitely The Big Sleep for me, first one I read and it always stayed with me. Those editions are lovely - I won all five on a Twitter competition. God bless you Twitter, you crazy internet waste of time...